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Firebirds Erupt Offensively for 108, 89 Win Over NYIT

Nickerson (left) and Chandler (right) teamed up for 68 points.
Nickerson (left) and Chandler (right) teamed up for 68 points.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team shot a scintillating 56-percent from the field and erupted for a season-high point total as the Firebirds scorched East Coast Conference foe New York Institute of Technology, 108-89 at the UDC Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.

The Firebirds (12-10, 9-5 ECC) led wire-to-wire as senior guard Joseph Nickerson connected on his first three attempts of the game from long range – all assisted by senior point guard Kasim Chandler – and UDC raced out to a 13-2 lead and never looked back. The hosts shot 63-percent (20-of-32) from the field and sank 15-of-18 at the foul line en-route to a 60-33 halftime lead. They would lead by as many as 28 in both halves, and ultimately win comfortably by a 19-point margin to complete the season sweep of their ECC foe.

Nickerson, who was coming off what was previously a career-high 35-point scoring effort last Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas, finished today's game with a new career high of 37 points – marking the 4th time in his career he has scored over 30 points in a game. Also, Nickerson entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation for steals per-game (3.0), and today he tied his career-high with six thefts while also hauling in a team-best nine rebounds and handing out two assists.

Nickerson's counterpart on offense was Chandler, who scored 31 points on 10-of-14 FG shooting and 9-of-10 FT shooting, and contributed five rebounds, four assists and one steal. On defense, it was junior guard Khalil Jackson, who swatted away a season-high tying six shots today to go with seven points, six rebounds and four assists. Jackson now has 10 multiple-block games this season, including three of five or more.

As a team, UDC out-shot NYIT for the complete game, 56-percent (35-of-63) to 44-percent (34-of-77) from the field, 47-percent (8-of-17) to 30-percent (7-of-23) from three-point range, and 86-percent (30-of-35) to 64-percent (14-of-22) at the foul line. (This marked the 3rd game this season the Firebirds have made 30 or more free-throws)

NYIT (6-17, 4-11 ECC), which dropped its sixth straight game, had four of its starting five score in double-figures. Guard Jeffrey Hayden delivered a team-high 23 points while the nation's leader in rebounding and double-doubles, John Feiler, recorded 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Next up, the Firebirds will visit league foe LIU Post on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m.